- Designer Hannah Mossman Moore on her jewellery store and inspirations
By Venessa Anthony
Jewellery designer and gem entrepreneur Hannah Mossman Moore stepped into Sri Lanka’s tropical paradise to further enhance her journey towards pursuing true quality gems for herself and her clients. She founded her own jewellery store Tropical Gem in Sri Lanka, as well as her international brand Jean London. Her passion for design and art has led her to work closely with affluent artists such as Cartier and Alighieri.
Moore designs her jewellery with the hope of empowering and strengthening people on their journey, providing confidence, and helping them believe in themselves. “For me, wearing jewellery is like putting makeup on; it is a type of armour and it makes me feel intact, strong and glamorous, and that is the feeling I want to give to the wearer,” Moore commented.
She opened up about what piqued her interest in the jewellery field. “When I was 11, I moved from London to Kenya for two years. I was blown away by the ‘Maasai Mara’ in particular, the incredible jewellery worn by the Maasai tribes, it was like nothing I’d ever seen before. That was what first made me realise that there is so much more to jewellery than diamonds and pearls. Every piece of jewellery tells a story.” Upon being asked where her love for gems stemmed from, Moore said: “If you think about stones, they have been pushed up from the earth in immense heat and pressure over millions of years and we get to wear them on our body. For me, that’s a huge amount of power, energy, and history. I really believe stones are powerful and they are an important object that connects us to nature.”
Moore explained the concept behind her gem shop. “Tropical Gem is all about being colourful, energetic, bright, sparkly, and bold, exactly how I want my clients to feel. The bright colours and unique magic of Sri Lanka is what Tropical Gem truly reflects through its collections, so I have this beautiful country to be thankful for.” Moore’s first-hand experience of the tough, male-dominated, and sometimes murky world of international gemstone mining inspired her to do things differently. With both her brands, Moore’s aim is to inspire, empower, and embolden – starting with her customers. “Big rocks for the powerful people we aspire to be!” she added.
She also strongly believes that being beautiful means being yourself, so she loves to urge her clients to follow their heart and go for what really makes them feel confident. “I believe that jewellery is one of the most transformative things you can wear. So it’s all about choosing what makes you feel great. I always help my clients with that part!”
With her brand, Moore wants to spread a message of faith and positivity. She walked us through her creative process. “Sometimes I spend weeks perfecting and refining a design, I think that’s what makes me stand out. I make sure every tiny detail – from the stone quality to the packaging – is perfect. I always handpick and personally source the highest quality gems and crystals myself. I get really inspired when I find the rarer stones, particularly when they are in unusual colours and sizes.”
Moore added that she loves incorporating her own style into her designs; her personal style is very glamorous, and that definitely filters through into her work, whether it’s intentional or not. She also draws most of her inspiration from nature. “I love nature so much and it’s my biggest inspiration. Sri Lanka has such diversity in nature! I feel very lucky to have so many favourite places around the island to draw inspiration from! Nuwara Eliya is my number one place to clear my head and get inspired. After a few days in the hills I always leave overflowing with new design ideas! The magical and historical Galle Fort is also a favourite place where a lot of my inspiration definitely comes from.”
She spoke about her favourite piece of jewellery that she designed. “My favourite piece is a power ring that I wear literally everyday. It’s a solid design; it’s huge and chunky. I live such an active life, it really makes me feel powerful and strong, which is what I want my customers to feel every day.”
Both her local and London-based brands have many exciting new plans in the offing which she doesn’t want to reveal just yet, but she told us that she is excitedly looking forward to the new year and what’s in store for her.